Post-Operative Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Sometimes the after effects of oral surgery are quite minimal and not all of the following instructions may apply in your case. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. If there is ever a question you should call our office at Warren Phone Number 586-755-9340.

  • You will leave with gauze in your mouth. Gauze should remain in your mouth for about 45 minutes. The gauze may become saturated and should be changed every 20 minutes as needed, any unusual bleeding should warrant a phone call. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in hot water, squeezed damp dry and wrapped in a moist gauze) for 20-30 minutes. DO NOT SLEEP OR EAT WITH GAUZE IN YOUR MOUTH.
  • You may have some degree of discomfort following a procedure. A prescription for pain medication will be provided along with any other necessary prescriptions. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you will be able to manage any discomfort more effectively.
  • You should refrain from doing the following for at least 24 hours after the surgery: spitting, rinsing, drinking through a straw or bottle, alcohol use, and brushing your teeth. For those that use tobacco products, please refrain for at least 1 week if possible.
  • Swelling is common after oral surgery and can persist for as long as a week. Swelling usually peaks in 48-72 hours.
  • The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal: bruising to the area, tightness of the jaw muscles, slight earache and sore throat, numbness to the lower lip, chin, tongue and teeth may occur with extractions on the lower jaw. If numbness persists for longer than 1 week, please contact our office.
  • We recommend a soft diet for the first 24-48 hours, gradually returning to a regular diet. Avoid spicy, crunchy, chewy foods for 1 week. Soft diet may include mashed potatoes, eggs, pancakes, pasta, noodles, soup (room temperature), puddings and cottage cheese. Nausea is not an uncommon occurrence after surgery and is sometimes caused by taking pain medications. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, than the pill with water.
  • If any of the following occur, then the office needs to be contacted: uncontrollable bleeding, severe uncontrollable pain, swelling that begins 48 hours after the procedure, markedly elevated temperature, generalized skin rash, trouble breathing, pain that begins to increase after the 3rd day (dry socket), or any other situation not covered here.


Because of the close relationship between upper back teeth and the sinus, a communication between the sinus and mouth sometimes results from surgery. If this complication has occurred in your case, the area often heals slowly and with difficulty. Certain precautions will assist healing and we ask that you faithfully follow these instructions:

  • Take prescriptions as directed.
  • Do not forcefully spit for several days.
  • Do not smoke for several days.
  • Do not use a straw for several days.
  • Do not forcefully blow your nose for at least two weeks, even though your sinus may feel “stuffy” or there may be some nasal drainage.
  • Try not to sneeze; it will cause undesired sinus pressure. If you must sneeze, keep your mouth open.
  • Eat only soft foods for several days, always trying to chew on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Do not rinse vigorously for several days. Gentle salt water swishes may be used.

Slight bleeding from the nose is not uncommon for several days after surgery. Please keep our office advised of any changes in your condition, especially if drainage or pain increases. It is important that you keep all future appointments until this complication has resolved.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office where you had surgery. A 24-hour emergency answering service is available to contact the doctor on call after hours at Warren Phone Number 586-755-9340. Calling during office hours will afford a faster response to your questions or concerns.